Theologian Rudolph Bultmann observed that self effort was the primal sin. If in the spiritual sphere self righteousness is the most basic of sins, willful ignorance of the achievements of Christ for us is of the same order.
Ignorance in this field is mostly not willful, having more to do with the embedding of false doctrine as a religious culture and the fact that not a few have been blinded by doctrines of demons posing as light and truth. What this means is that many have internalized The Great Darkness (1) in the form of ignorance of the at-one-ment and ignorance of the foundational function of the incarnation for the Kingdom of God. In its place they have embraced a Try –Harder Gospel of separation and jumping through religious hoops.
The culture of the Christian Industry locks people into the old covenant and old creation life of Adam and blinds the eyes of the faithful to the light of the glory of Jesus IN THEM and His new creation possibilities for all.
'He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn--and I would heal them' John 12.40 NIV. Satan's most successful attack on Believers across the denominations has occurred through the robbing of the cross of it's power resulting in the diminishing of Christ's potency for us. The effect of this has been the crippling of the saints and their being shackled to ineffectual, old covenant practices that distance them from God and His indwelling presence.
'The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God' 2 Cor 4.4 NIV.
Many Christians live in ignorance of what really happened at the cross, resurrection and Pentecost. Our life in Adam was put to death and our life in Jesus began. Jesus is much more than the forgiveness of sins. He is the re-creation of society and the world. He is the new creation in you. Paul summarized what happened in Galatians 2.20,21. 'My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.'
In Philippians Paul labeled all that is not Christ as rubbish and in Colossians he spoke of Christ our life. Jesus emphasized the same truth when He said, 'Those who eat me will live because of me.' Bumbling along in religion, no matter how sincere is not Christ your life. It is us trying by self-effort to rise above death.
Some brave soul coined the words, ‘The Idol of the Church.’ One effect of Satan's robbery of the saints has been the attempt to draw life from the church when life can only be found in the person of Jesus who is life itself. Christ's church, as opposed to the church of man, is His person manifest as His people. Man's church is an institution that interposes itself between God and the people as a 'mediator' offering itself and its clergy as a 'stairway' or bridge to God.
Man's church attempts to find life in observances and behaviors rather than in spirit and in truth - meaning in the person of Jesus. He lives in us – if we let Him. In Christ we are Godly because He is the Son of God and lives in us. In Christ we are joined to heaven so that the life of heaven flows into the sons of God on earth. This is the dynamic of the new creation.
NEW COVENANT YOU
The gospel of self effort, trying harder to please God, captivity to law and performance orientation with a class of professional 'mediators' is old covenant – if not Egyptian and Babylonian. New covenant is Christ. It is Christ your life. Christ in you and with you. It's Christ' favour on you and the love of the Father over you. New covenant is you with Christ in the heavenlies and the trinity in you on earth.
This is why the resurrected Jesus said, 'My peace I give you.' There is no peace and rest in the old covenant. There is in the new. It's called Jesus. Jesus is our Sabbath rest. In Him you get more than a day of obligation and imagined piety. You get a life. His life in the present and eternal life in the future.
'So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience' Heb 4.9-11 NIV.
Some may argue that there are advantages in the Jewish Sabbath. Really. There are advantages in not being a workaholic, in not worshiping materialism and fashion. There are advantages in good diet and exercise and in having vacations that restore the soul - but there is no spiritual life in them. They lack eternal, infinite, new creation life because they are outside the realm of spirit and truth.
Let's be clear. There is no rest, no life, no spirit and life in anything that is not personally God.
CHRIST YOUR LIF
There is no more rest in special times, places, apparel or foods than there is rest in bathing in the Ganges. Jesus in you is your rest, your peace, your spiritual vitality and your source of wisdom and revelation. Jesus in people is the new creation writ large. Other things, as Paul said, are just rubbish. Jesus, is the Christ of God. He is the life and light of the world. Accept no counterfeits or false christs. Jesus of Nazareth, son of God and Son of man is your life. He lives in you.
'Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ' Col 2.16.17 ESV.
(1) The Great Darkness: A term used to denote a mindset in which we live in imagined separation from God because we remain in the law and old covenant in the darkness of Adamic separation.